8 Must-Know Tracks!
1. Matt Corby, Brother
I dare you to not sing the hook of this song over and over after one listen. Also, how cute is he?! Fun fact: Matt was on a reality talent TV show at 16 back in 2007. Two years later, he independently released his debut EP before relocating to London and signing with Communion after capturing the attention of the label's owner, Ben Lovett of Mumford and Sons. He has since released two more albums, toured with Mumford and Sons, and is about to go back out on the road with Alpine in Australia this June. Oh, did I mention this song came 3rd on this year's Triple J Hottest 100?? Watch your back, Gotye.
2. Snakadaktal, Chimera
I saw these guys play in Melbourne and was shocked to hear they were still in high school. They're so good! This song earned them the Triple J Unearthed High crown last year (TripleJUnearthed.com is a place where anyone can upload their songs and Unearthed High is the same but only for high schoolers). Their debut EP is out now through I OH YOU records and available on iTunes.
3. Alpine, Hands
I am so in love with these guys, as musicians and as people. While I was in Australia, I had the pleasure of meeting them. We hung out in Fitzroy Gardens all day, playing bin ball, day drinking and listening to Triple J's Hottest 100 Countdown (massive radio station in Australia). Definitely a highlight of my trip. Look out for my interview with them coming soon! They're playing SXSW - their first US gig, whoop whoop! - Wednesday, March 14th @ 10PM at Karma Lounge. If you're there, you have to check them out! Their shows are SO much fun (hint: glitter & face paint). 2012 is your year, guys!
4. The Jezabels, Trycolour
I am obsessed with singer Haley Mary's voice. It totally takes me back to 1994 with Mazzy Star's Fade Into You. Haley and keyboardist Heather Shannon first began playing together in Byron Bay before moving to Sydney to attend university, where they met Nik Kaloper (drums) and Sam Lockwood (rhythm guitar). They have since released three EPs, a full-length album and have toured their pants off, hitting up all the major festivals in Australia. They also toured with Alpine this past October, and they've played a few dates in North America and Canada. Come back overseas soon, guys! Dying to see you live!
5. Sparkadia, China
Love this beat. This song came in at #56 on Triple J's Hottest 100. Sparkadia brainchild Alex Burnett says the idea came from noticing the sound his shoes made while walking through the snow. Originally a four-piece band, Sparkadia formed in Sydney in 2004. Now a one-man-band, he has toured with so many favorites: Death Cab for Cutie, Modest Mouse, The Temper Trap, Vampire Weekend, Pet Shop Boys, Jimmy Eat World, Hot Hot Heat… basically if you don't know Sparkadia yet, you will very soon.
5. San Cisco, Awkward
Another super catchy hook! This one coming in at #7 on this year's Hottest 100. Aussies got it d-o-w-n. These guys started playing together in 2009 and in 2010 they recorded their debut EP, released early last year. After performing at numerous Australian festivals and touring with fellow Aussie bands like Architecture in Helsinki and The Grates, they were signed late last year by Albert Productions, home of some major Australian acts including AC/DC (Yeeooow!). Their second EP, Awkward, was just released last month.
6 Seekae, Void
I seriously can't speak highly enough of this band. Their story is quite serendipitous; Alex Cameron and George Nicholas went to primary school together, lost touch and met again by chance after eight years. Alex introduced George to his then-bandmate John Hassell, and the three began Seekae in 2006. This song is off their debut album, The Sound of Trees Falling on People, released in 2008. Their sophomore album, + Dome, was released last March. They have been busy supporting the praised release, touring with the likes of Cloud Control, Midnight Juggernauts, and others, as well as selling out their own headline shows.
7. Oscar + Martin, Recognise
This is maybe the sweetest song I've ever heard. And their debut LP, For You, is definitely the sweetest thing ever. It was released on the independent, artist-run Australian label, Two Bright Lakes last April. These guys, whose names are actually Oscar and Martin, really wear their hearts on their sleeves. I'm loving everything about them!
8. Architecture in Helsinki, Contact High
Okay, so I know I'm not showing you anything new here, but it would be a crime to have an Aussie playlist and NOT include Architecture In Helsinki. They've been a favorite for years. This song is off their forth and most recent studio album, Moment Bends, released last April. Architecture in Helsinki is Cameron Bird, Gus Franklin, Jamie Milden, Sam Perry and Kellie Sutherland (this is their current line-up but it's changed a bit over the years, but hey what band's hasn't…). Hailing from Melbourne, they released their debut album in 2003. They've toured with acts like YACHT, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Santigold, Glass Candy, Au Revoire Simone, Yo La Tengo, Death Cab for Cutie, and Dr Dog to name a few.